Asbestos Testing

asbestos-testingAsbestos is one of the most common overlooked environmental issues encounters on a property. How to most economically deal with asbestos issues, while at the same time maintaining regulatory compliance without the risk or liability, is frequently debated.

JRM performs all asbestos testing related consulting functions, including asbestos surveys (limited and/or comprehensive), asbestos project design specifications, air monitoring and abatement project oversight, training classes, and the development of Operations & Maintenance plans (O&M plans.)

Asbestos analysis of material samples will be performed by their in-house laboratory accredited under the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) using Polarized
Light Microscopy (PLM) – LAB CODE: 200080-0.

JRM approach to the asbestos issue is focused on understanding the needs and goals of our clients, while educating and advising them of current federal, state and local regulations. Effective, economical decisions are them developed balancing the client’s goals with applicable regulations.

States mandate accreditation for asbestos related activities. JRM’s asbestos-testing-arizonapersonnel are accredited in all states which we perform service. We have conducted asbestos surveys for clients throughout the United States and are cognizant of the variations in environmental regulations from state to state.

Asbestos Investigations

The purpose of an inspection is to thoroughly access, test, and document the existence of asbestos-containing materials in order to comply with the EPA, AHERA regulations in so far as they include the inspection, sampling, analysis, and physical assessment according to our scope of work and AHERA guidelines. The inspections involve all areas within each building, including but not limited to the following areas: Ceilings and walls in hallways, classrooms, offices, mechanical and storage rooms, areas beneath buildings, pipes and mechanical areas, and maintenance areas. The inspection also included looking for and touching all suspect friable materials, including surfaces behind suspended ceilings and non-permanently concealed areas which may be entered during normal maintenance and repair. For purposes of this inspection a friable material is regarded as any material applied on ceilings, walls, structural members, piping, duct work or any other part of the building surfaces which, when dry, may be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to a powder by hand pressure.

Once the information is compiled, the results are documented in customized reports detailing building description, asbestos locations, regulatory classification, quantity, condition, as well regulatory identification. Sample and material location maps, regulatory identification charts, abatement cost estimates, and photographs are frequently included. JRM will make recommendations as to how to best handle an asbestos issue based on cost, client goals, future renovation or demolition plans, if any, and the condition of asbestos materials.

Asbestos Project Design

asbestos-testing-arizonaWhen plans call for demolition and/or renovation that will affect asbestos containing materials (ACM), the asbestos must be abated prior to the commencement of the renovation and/or demolition activities. JRM will develop site specific specifications for such abatement which will include the following:

  • General Project Information
  • Bid Forms
  • Submittal Requirements
  • Scope of Work
  • Work Area Preparation
  • Documentation Requirements
  • Negative Pressure Requirements
  • Removal Procedures
  • Protective Equipment
  • Area Decontamination Procedures
  • Air Monitoring
  • Quality Assurance (QA) Inspections
  • Clearance Criteria
  • ACM Disposal

All project design specifications will also specify designated work periods, housekeeping requirements, security issues, unit pricing, insurance requirements, etc. Drawings of areas to be effected may also be included. For small scale projects, mini-specifications can be developed focusing on a limited scope of work.

To provided maximum client protection, all project design work will be performed by an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified Project Designer and all specifications must be written in strict accordance with federal, state, and local regulations.

Abatement Oversight

Asbestos abatement oversight encompasses all components of asbestos projects, from contractor submittals to waste disposal and project close-out. Enforcement of the specifications in strict compliance with regulations protects the building owner/client from potential liability.

Once an abatement project is completed, a close-out book detailing all aspects of the project, along with all required documentation, is forwarded to the client for their permanent records.

Complex abatements of hi-rise buildings, schools, elevator shafts, ventilation systems, computer centers apartment complex, and hospitals, have been safety and economically completed by or staff.

Air Monitoring

Phase-Contrast-Microscopy.jpgGenerally, air monitoring is performed in conjunction with providing asbestos abetment oversight. Analysis of air samples, either by Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM) or Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), is necessary to provide an indication of how many fibers are contained in the air prior to starting a project, during the abatement project, and upon project completion. Re-occupancy of an area should not occur until clearance air monitoring samples have been taken, analyzed, and found to be within acceptable limits.

In buildings with existing asbestos, ambient air monitoring should be performed periodically in random areas to control fiber content and to insure against potential liability. Accumulating air fiber data can be helpful in the event of a fiber release and can provide valuable baseline information during abatement projects.

Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Plans

A major component of successfully managing a residential or commercial building today is comprehensive, user friendly O&M Plan. To comply with the current OSHA regulations, an O&M Plan is a necessity. The O&M Plan should be designed to manage materials in place and should be specifically detailed to the affected site. The O&M Plan should highlight work practices and procedures directly relating to conditions in the building and should include the following: surveillance programs, notification programs, work controls, work permit systems, worker protection programs, work practices, record keeping, and training.

JRM provides economic site specific O&M Plans, the objective of which is to create a practical management plan for the control of potential sources of airborne asbestos fibers in a building. The program objective is achieved by:

  • Informing personnel involved in maintenance, janitorial, or renovation actives of the locations of asbestos containing materials (ACM) within a building;
  • Familiarizing workers with the hazards associated with exposure to airborne asbestos fibers;
  • Training workers to handle asbestos containing materials (ACM) properly;
  • Providing appropriate personal protection and adequate engineering controls for activities that may disturb asbestos containing materials (ACM); and,
  • Maintaining documentation for all activities involving asbestos captaining materials (ACM) in the building.

In addition to being user friendly, we design an O&M Plan to dynamic so that as changes in the building occur, the O&M Plan will evolve to reflect and accommodate those changes. JRM encourages clients to perform periodic building inspections, to help our clients maintain their vigilance, we often advise them of pertinent regulatory changes.